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Fair for Flair: a mini-series

Ric Flair GOAT

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#21 JerryvonKramer

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Posted 03 October 2015 - 03:56 AM

Anyone who really wants to come on to debate this can on an unscheduled part 5. Pre-requisites are listening to all the arguments and engaging specific points. There really would be no point in it otherwise. I'd bring in someone as impartial moderator.

Deadline for PMs: Friday, October 9th.

#22 El-P

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Posted 03 October 2015 - 05:54 AM

This is obnoxious as fuck, really. I'd rather take one exemple of why Flair was not a smart worker in the GOAT poll thread at this point, although talking about Flair really is boring to me.



#23 soup23

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Posted 03 October 2015 - 06:12 AM

Have you listened to the shows???? If not, stop posting in this thread! Brainfollower above spelled out a fair rebuttal AFTER listening. You may think that discussing Flair is unnecessary. Not everyone agrees with you, but yet those individuals are just randomly posting in the thread about how much something like this was needed. 



#24 El-P

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Posted 03 October 2015 - 06:24 AM

This is obnoxious as fuck, really. I'd rather take one exemple of why Flair was not a smart worker in the GOAT poll thread at this point, although talking about Flair really is boring to me.

 

Duh.



#25 thebrainfollower

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Posted 03 October 2015 - 01:29 PM

I would be happy to come and talk about some of the points I made.........but I don't feel I'm rebutting the main thesis.  I think Flair is MOST likely the GOAT and def top 3 if not.  But I DON'T think it's a lock that nobody can argue against and my main point about Flair using the UT thing as example, I think Flair does that more than most.

 

I'd love to talk about why I feel Flair's WWF run failed despite the greatest promo set ever though.  Be on to do that in a heartbeat.



#26 SteveJRogers

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Posted 03 October 2015 - 02:01 PM

One thing Parv Flair saying only the WWF title isn't a heel move IMO it's Vince making sure fans know what the really important belt is and leaving no doubt WCW is vastly inferior.  It means even more coming from Flair.


I agree. Especially after being forced to give The Big Gold Back, which is why Flair was holding a blurred out tag belt for like a month.

#27 Superstar Sleeze

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Posted 04 October 2015 - 11:47 AM

 

To me Flair was a great athlete, with so much charisma who did a lot of cool stuff. He has so many all-time great matches too. The problem is, I don't think he was that smart of a worker.

 

That is the type of thing that puts him down a few spots to me.

 

Pretty much. He's a go-go-go worker who did tons of cool stuff, had a formula that produced shitloads of very good to great matches. He's Harley Race 2.0, and that's pretty great for what it is. One of my favourites wrestler for sure.

 

And he's been overanalyzed for more than 20 years now. ;)

 

 

No he really was not Harley Race 2.0. That's pretty blatantly wrong and just oversimplifies everything about Flair. THIS IS EXACTLY WHY WE DID THE PODCAST! It is dispel this notion that Flair is all movement and all bumps. The key difference is that Flair is constantly fighting back and trying to break his opponent's momentum with short knees and chops. Having watched Harley Race matches from the 70s, they are basically fun spotfests. Race does not really make the opponent earn their offense, he is just content to bump big for them. Secondly, Harley on offense is fun because he has a ton of bombs, but he is not as violent or sadistic as Ric Flair on top. Flair is double footstomping, punch you in the face, maniacal violent sadist when he is on top of a match. Harley was very much a Japanese worker. I think there are so many nuances to the Flair package that for exact reason of people trying to oversimplify him is why so many Flair clones or Flair wanna-bes (HBK, HHH, Stunning Steve Austin, Hennig etc...) miss the boat that every little detail of Flair works together. Take one out and the whole thing crumbles into a one-dimensional facsimile of the Nature Boy.

Also, I did a review of Flair vs Luger Starrcade 88 http://prowrestlingo...starrcade-1988/

 

Since it is written, does a better job articulating all the points I wanted to make it during podcast and in addition is not as repetitive as the podcast. I also think this is the better Flair/Luger match over Wrestlewar and did go *****. I would like to know if people agree or if they don't (since I have never seen this rated at ***** or over the  Wrestlewar 90 match, I presume most disagree) why they  disagree.  



#28 JerryvonKramer

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Posted 04 October 2015 - 11:57 AM

Of course, that post by El-P is also based on a slightly false notion of what Harley was like too. However, I doubt I'd be able to find the guests for a four-part mini series on Race. Ha ha.

#29 RCS1988

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Posted 04 October 2015 - 12:52 PM

Flair debuted on PTW 9/9/91, it wasn't Superstars.



#30 El-P

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Posted 04 October 2015 - 01:52 PM

Of course, that post by El-P is also based on a slightly false notion of what Harley was like too.

 

Please explain to me what *my* notion of Harley Race is. Since I haven't made one post about Harley neither in the Microscope nor the GOAT poll sub-forum, good luck sir.



#31 JerryvonKramer

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Posted 04 October 2015 - 01:54 PM

 

To me Flair was a great athlete, with so much charisma who did a lot of cool stuff. He has so many all-time great matches too. The problem is, I don't think he was that smart of a worker.
 
That is the type of thing that puts him down a few spots to me.

 
Pretty much. He's a go-go-go worker who did tons of cool stuff, had a formula that produced shitloads of very good to great matches. He's Harley Race 2.0, and that's pretty great for what it is. One of my favourites wrestler for sure.
 
And he's been overanalyzed for more than 20 years now. ;)

 



#32 El-P

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Posted 04 October 2015 - 01:59 PM

Holy shit, seriously ? :)



#33 JerryvonKramer

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Posted 04 October 2015 - 02:13 PM

There is a sub-text to calling someone "Harley Race 2.0" that comes with a set of connotations. Since you are telling me now that, based on that fact that's the only time you've ever mentioned Race on the site, it was not at all clear to anyone else what you meant -- why don't you clarify it for us right now?



#34 El-P

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Posted 04 October 2015 - 02:20 PM

Well, I can play the petty quoting game too :

 

I'd prefer comments to come from listeners only.

 

 

So sorry.

 

As far as Race goes, I'll write stuff about him whenever I feel like it and certaily not pertaining to Flair. You'll have to live with your assumptions in the meantime.



#35 bradhindsight

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Posted 04 October 2015 - 07:02 PM

Seems kind of a waste to have this discussion and not have anyone there to actually argue the points you're attempting to dispute.  Its relatively easy to brush off the conflicting opinions when you don't have anyone there to advocate them.  This seems more like shouting into a echo chamber for that sweet, sweet confirmation that your guy is number one and best.  

 

Disagree. None of the dissenting opinions were brushed off; in fact, each was laid out and addressed succinctly. Part 1 was essentially a research paper with a thesis and the evidence to back it up. 



#36 thebrainfollower

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Posted 04 October 2015 - 07:05 PM

A research paper on the radio (or web) is a waste of time IMO.   Conversations is about well......discussion



#37 Loss

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Posted 04 October 2015 - 07:21 PM

He offered for someone to come on for Part 5 and debate him. There's a thread here where people can disagree. Can we get past the idea of this podcast as an example of being unwilling to hear dissenting views?



#38 jdw

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Posted 05 October 2015 - 05:38 PM

 

 

Harley was very much a Japanese worker. 

 

 

He's not a Japanese worker. His core was AWA for 50+ months from 9/64-12/68, 2/3rds of which he spent as tag champ. He made one tour of Japan in that period, with it taking place in his last year in the AWA. His second core was the year plus in the Funk promotion, again making just one trip to Japan as part of the group going with Dory Funk Sr. and Jr. He then anchored himself in the Mizzu territory for over three years, making three more series in Japan, basically one a year.

 

Harley wasn't good at working holds, though that wasn't uncommon: Flair was poor working holds. In turn, most "Japan" guys like Baba and Jumbo (and some will tell you Inoki) were quite strong at working holds. On the flip side, Harley did the suplexes like the Funks, bumped his ass off like plenty of AWA heels along with West Texas wrestlers like Terry and Murdoch and a younger Dusty.

 

*Japan* over time wrestled more like Harley and Terry: suplexes, big movies, increasingly poor/indifferent about holds, bump, high impact. When one considers who was the World Champ when a lot of those guys were in Jr. High School and High School, and how much Baba over time loved Harley, it makes perfect sense.



#39 JerryvonKramer

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Posted 05 October 2015 - 05:40 PM

I actually agree with most of that. I credit Race with basically inventing the modern style.

#40 jdw

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Posted 05 October 2015 - 06:52 PM

The one change I would make to it would be clear that I think Terry worked holds in an awesome fashion when the match called for it, or he was working in that mindset. Race... never so hot in that.

 

* * * * *

 

I wouldn't go so far as to say Harley invented the style. He still would work holds. They just were boring. In a way, he was similar to Choshu's style, which also had impact coming from a different company. Boring holds, high impact spots. The differences is that Choshu gave the illusion of higher pacing because he did things with a combination of flury and furry, whereas Harley was more methodical in his high impact stuff.

 

Flair certainly had his role in the modern style: since he sucked at working holds and really wasn't enthused to go with them unless the opponent needed to, he had more of a go-go, transitional and near MTYT style that shares elements with the modern style. His 40 minutes World Wide match with Barry is far closer to a modern style way of filling 40 minutes than how one would do it in the 70s or 60s. The big moves have advanced since 1987, but it's really more of a spot focused match than working holds to eat up a lot of time.

 

In contrast, Race's snoozefest with Lawler ate up loads of time with a repetitive headlock sequence that was pretty cool the first time you watch them work through the counter and counter-to-the-counter, but gets old as run through it time again (as much if not more than Backlund-Race working the headlock).

 

Race is a little hard to pigeon hole. His 1975 30:00 draw with Baba, the unending match with Lawler and the MSG match with Backlund are filled with extremely long sequences of working holds (or in some cases A Hold). Backlund-Race does have some terrific high spots in it, but a good deal of that is Bob rather than Harley dipping into the Big Race Book Of Moves. The Baba match is downright low tech compared to their first 1979 title change. The Lawler match does have some terrific bumps, some high spots... but I'd be hard pressed to think the high spot ratio is above Flair-Barry.







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